Caleb Grill, Iowa State Cyclones, Big 12 Basketball

Ariel Puterman gives his week 14 Big 12 basketball power rankings.


Matchup of the week: Kansas vs. Texas

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Kansas State vs. Texas Tech

All game times are listed in EST.

1) Texas Longhorns

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-1)

Record: 19-4 (8-2)

Last week: #11 Baylor (W) 76-71, @ #7 Kansas State (W) 69-66

Next week: @ #8 Kansas (Feb. 6 – 9 p.m.), West Virginia (Feb. 11 – Noon)

Best wins: @ Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Gonzaga, Creighton, Oklahoma State (x2), West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 1 seed (Making the Madness), 2 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets, ESPN, CBS Sports)

Texas has been waiting for a chance to prove they are the best team in the Big 12, and they delivered this week, beating two of the top teams in the conference, including an impressive comeback win on the road against Kansas State. The recent emergence of Sir’Jabari Rice has really helped Texas, and Marcus Carr serves as a terrific second scoring option. If Texas really wants to separate itself as the undisputed top dog in the Big 12, they can do it on Monday if they beat Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse.

2) Iowa State Cyclones

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-1)

Record: 16-6 (7-3)

Last week: @ Texas Tech (L) 77-80 OT, #8 Kansas (W) 68-53

Next week: @ West Virginia (Feb. 8 – 7 p.m.), Oklahoma State (Feb. 11 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: @ TCU, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, North Carolina

Worst losses: @ Texas Tech

Current Tournament Position: 2 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist), 3 seed (Making the Madness), 4 seed (Matty Brackets, ESPN, CBS Sports)

What a strange week it was for Iowa State. First, they go on the road and play a Texas Tech team without a conference win, take a 20+ point lead, then blow it and hand the Red Raiders their first conference win of the season. Then they take on Kansas at home and absolutely destroy them. Iowa State is now 13-0 at home this season and 2-5 on the road, a serious concern.

As we all know, there are no home tournament games, so if Iowa State can’t prove they can win on the road, especially against a team like Texas Tech, then there could be big problems in the next month. They take on West Virginia on the road this week, and this will be another great test as to whether they can win these games in unfamiliar territory.

3) Baylor Bears

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)

Record: 17-6 (6-4)

Last week: @ #10 Texas (L) 71-76, Texas Tech (W) 89-62

Next week: Oklahoma (Feb. 8 – 9 p.m.), @ #15 TCU (Feb. 11 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga, Arkansas, Oklahoma State

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 3 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets) 4 seed, (ESPN, CBS Sports, Making the Madness)

Baylor has now won six of their last seven Big 12 basketball games and looks more and more like a legitimate threat every day. They suffered a narrow road loss to Texas, then proceeded to blow out Texas Tech. This team has a ton of talent, and when everyone is on, they’re extremely difficult to beat. They are hoping to continue their hot streak against a struggling Oklahoma team and then a road matchup against a banged-up TCU team.

4) Kansas Jayhawks

Last week’s ranking: 5 (+1)

Record: 18-5 (6-4)

Last week: #7 Kansas State (W) 90-78, @ #13 Iowa State (L) 53-68

Next week: #10 Texas (Feb. 6 – 9 p.m.), @ Oklahoma (Feb. 11 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Kansas State, Iowa State, Indiana, @ Missouri, Duke, NC State, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State

Worst losses: N/A

Current Tournament Position: 1 seed (ESPN, CBS Sports), 2 seed (Matty Brackets, Making the Madness), 3 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist)

After a 5-0 start, Kansas is now 1-4 in their last five conference games, pulling a full 180 to Baylor. They did get that one win at home against Kansas State this week, but the loss against Iowa State is certainly concerning. Kansas can’t seem to get a second scoring option outside of Jalen Wilson and little to no bench help. If they don’t beat Texas on Monday, their Big 12 title hopes are all but gone, but we know that Bill Self is good enough of a coach to will his team to victory and get them back on track soon.

5) Kansas State Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-3)

Record: 18-5 (6-4)

Last week: @ #8 Kansas (L) 78-90, #10 Texas (L) 66-69

Next week: #15 TCU (Feb. 7 – 9 p.m.), @ Texas Tech (Feb. 11 – 7 p.m.

Best wins: @ Texas, @ Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Florida, West Virginia

Worst losses: @ Butler

Current Tournament Position: 2 seed (CBS Sports), 3 seed (ESPN, Making the Madness), 4 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets)

This was Kansas State’s hardest week so far this season, and it showed. They went 0-2 and blew a double-digit lead at home. They have lost three straight road games, but do have two very favorable ones coming up. Only three of their last eight games are against ranked teams, which might sound like a lot, but in the Big 12, that’s a gift. Kansas State is hoping to finish those eight games strong and head into the Big 12 Tournament with momentum.

6) TCU Horned Frogs

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-)

Record: 17-6 (6-4)

Last week: West Virginia (W) 76-72, @ Oklahoma State (L) 73-79

Next week: @ #7 Kansas State (Feb. 7 – 9 p.m.), #11 Baylor (Feb. 11 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: @ Kansas, @ Baylor, Kansas State, Providence, Iowa, West Virginia

Worst losses: Northwestern State, @ Mississippi State

Current Tournament Position: 4 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, Matty Brackets, ESPN, CBS Sports), 6 seed (Making the Madness)

TCU didn’t let the injury bug hit them too hard, beating West Virginia and then nearly beating Oklahoma State on the road, but their comeback fell short. The other guys like Emanuel Miller, Damion Baugh, JaKobe Coles, and Shahada Wells have all stepped up in Mike Miles’ and Lampkin’s absence, a very encouraging sign of the depth this team offers. They get rematches against two great teams they’ve already beaten this season but are looking for revenge.

7) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)

Record: 14-9 (5-5)

Last week: @ Oklahoma (W) 71-61, #15 TCU (W) 79-73

Next week: Texas Tech (Feb. 8 – 8 p.m.), @#13 Iowa State (Feb. 11 – 6 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State, TCU, West Virginia

Worst losses: Southern Illinois

Current Tournament Position: 10 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist), 11 seed (ESPN, Making the Madness), OUT (Matty Brackets, CBS Sports)

Oklahoma State understands how important the end of the season is for them, and they have delivered so far, winning five of their last six and putting them in a position to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They still have a long way to go, with five more ranked matchups down the stretch, and another 2-0 week would make it hard to leave them out at this point. Kalib Boone has been a key reason for their recent success, averaging 18 or more points in their last four games.

8) West Virginia Mountaineers

Last week’s ranking: 9 (+1)

Record: 14-9 (3-7)

Last week: @ #15 TCU (L) 72-76, Oklahoma (W) 93-61

Next week: #13 Iowa State (Feb. 8 – 7 p.m.), @ #10 Texas (Feb. 11 – Noon)

Best wins: TCU, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Florida, Oklahoma

Worst losses: @ Oklahoma

Current Tournament Position: 10 seed (Making the Madness), 11 seed (Waldo’s Watchlist, ESPN), OUT (Matty Brackets, CBS Sports)

How good is Big 12 basketball? West Virginia is the 14th-best team in the country according to KenPom, but 3-7 in conference play. They absolutely obliterated Oklahoma on Saturday, and need to win about half of their games to secure a spot in the tournament.

Unfortunately for them, six of the eight games are against ranked opponents and four of those are on the road. This also gives them many attempts to boost their resume if they fail to hit that four-win goal. Erik Stevenson is on fire right now, scoring 30+ for the second time in three games.

9) Oklahoma Sooners

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-1)

Record: 12-11 (2-8)

Last week: Oklahoma State (L) 61-71, @ West Virginia (L) 61-93

Next week: @ #11 Baylor (Feb. 8 – 9 p.m.), #8 Kansas (Feb. 11 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Alabama, Seton Hall, Florida, West Virginia

Worst losses: Sam Houston State, @ Villanova

Current Tournament Position: OUT

After their domination against Alabama, it seemed like Oklahoma was ready to make a tournament push. This week showed the complete opposite, losing two of their “easier” games the rest of the season by a combined 42 points.

They finish out their season with seven top-15 matchups in eight games, and while they are currently seen as a bubble team, if they come out and play the way they did this week, there is no hope for Sooners fans of going dancing. They can start the turnaround this week when they play Baylor and Kansas, two teams they lost to by a combined six points earlier in the season.

10) Texas Tech Red Raiders

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-)

Record: 12-11 (1-9)

Last week: #13 Iowa State (W) 80-77 OT, @ #11 Baylor (L) 62-89

Next week: @ Oklahoma State (Feb. 8 – 8 p.m.), #7 Kansas State (Feb. 11 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State, LSU, Louisiana Tech

Worst losses: Ohio State

Current Tournament Position: OUT

The Red Raiders finally did it! They came back from a massive deficit to Iowa State and secured their first win in conference play. Texas Tech knows where they stand, and at this point in the season, they’re playing for pride and upsets.

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